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The Antelope

The Antelope

‘Maleficent’ makes herself new mistress of cinema

antelope issue 7


First, we witnessed her emerge from an explosion of green animated flames and maniacal laughter. Then, we saw her benevolence in her unforeseen adoption of young Princess Aurora in the live-action debut. Could it be that in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the redeemed Disney villain is reverting back to her evil ways? 

Directed by Joachim Rønning, the sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent introduces the most distressing and perilous challenge the villain has yet to face- being a mother-in-law. 

After appointing Aurora as the queen of the mystical Moors, Maleficent hears of Aurora’s engagement to Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) from a neighboring kingdom of humans and advises her adopted daughter against the marriage. Aurora convinces Maleficent to accompany her to a dinner with Phillip’s parents, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). 

When the events of the somewhat awkward dinner descend into chaos, Maleficent is framed by the queen and attacked while fleeing the scene. Thankfully, she is rescued by a mysterious creature of her own kind with horns and wings, who takes her to the sanctuary of the dark fairies. Meanwhile, Aurora uses her love of Phillip to unite the fairies and humans, unaware of the danger facing her subjects. 

After discovering her origins, Maleficent must choose how to use her ancient powers to either unite the warring sides or destroy them.

Once again, Angelina Jolie portrayed a stunning Maleficent with a smooth balance of vulnerability as a motherly figure and intensity as a fearsome force of darkness. The film expounds on Maleficent’s capacity for good and evil without throwing any wrenches into the classic tale’s already unique machinery. 

Elle Fanning also has a more prominent role throughout Aurora’s struggle to keep the peace during Maleficent’s absence. The refreshing perspective on the beloved Disney princess shapes her into more of a three-dimensional character.

When “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” was released on Oct. 18, the movie theaters were graced with an artistically animated, action-packed story riddled with emotion. I was especially impressed by the innovative design used to create the factions of the dark fairy creatures. The standard impression of mysticism was maintained while still exhilarating the eye with an originative technique. 

The plot itself is a masterpiece that grips the attention and hearts of audience members. Even the minor characters cause one’s emotions to sway. With eyes wide, viewers are galvanized to root for the misunderstood antihero. 

The creatures of the Moors are well-developed and unquestionably loyal to their Queen Aurora and to their protector, Maleficent, despite the devious plans of an otherwise unlikely antagonist. In this sequel, Maleficent maintains her title as Mistress of Evil and mistress of the cinema. 

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